MOKAN Trains Contractors for St. Louis, Improves Minority Hiring on Construction Projects

The City of St. Louis is committed to promoting workforce diversity at construction sites throughout the Metropolitan area, partnering with SLATE to develop the Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program that increase minority hiring for area construction projects.

On December 15, 2017, a total of 32 students walked across the stage to receive Certificates of Completion from the SLATE-MOKAN Pre-Apprenticeship Program.

“St. Louis has set a goal of 25 percent minority and 5 percent female employment on city and city-subsidized projects,” said Yaphett El-Amin, MOKAN’s Executive Director. She noted that while the contractors have not promised to hire the graduates, their chances are good, considering the minority hiring goals set by the City of St. Louis.

Among the last graduates, five were women and 25 were African-American men.

MOKAN’s eight-week course provided job training, remedial education, financial guidance, and career preparation for the construction industry. Program graduates also developed time management skills, learned industry responsibilities, and practiced communication skills, as they may potentially be the only minority or woman on-site.

(Contributing source: Jim Gallagher, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)


Graduates of the SLATE-MOKAN Construction Training pictured with Yaphett El-Amin, MOKAN Executive Director (third from right), at MOKAN Educational Institute, on December 22, 2017.


SLATE 24 Hour Workforce High School Celebrates 12 More Graduates with First in U.S. Educational Model

WHS Graduation

24 Hour Workforce High School 2017 Graduating Class

When the first and only 24 Hour Workforce High School (24WHS) in the country opened its doors in February 2017, it quickly became an educational sensation. Created in close partnership with St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS), 24WHS opens the door to students who have not found success in traditional educational environments by providing access to school curriculum and individual mentorship 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

In April 2017, 24WHS celebrated its first two first graduates at a Commencement Ceremony at City Hall. On December 15, 2017, 12 more students joined 24WHS alumni, receiving their high school diplomas in front of a cheering crowd at the SLATE offices at 1520 Market Street. The proud graduates were joined by peers, friends and family members, their 24WHS Education Mentors, the entire staff of SLATE Young Adult Workforce Division, program partners, and SLPS representatives, to commemorate their achievements.

Educational attainment is especially difficult for working young adults, who are often limited by work schedules and family commitments. The key to success for students of 24WHS is the 24/7 classroom access and individual educational mentorship provided, allowing for students to schedule their class time around other responsibilities. The 24WHS curriculum is enhanced by financial empowerment education and holistic case management services offered to each participant. Although the school’s class curriculum is virtual, student attendance is required for successful participation. Each student can access courses 24/7 with an assigned Educational Mentor for tutoring and mentorship support to help them overcome life challenges and personal circumstances that can create barriers to educational success.

The SLATE 24 Hour Workforce High School is made possible by the overwhelming support of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, SPHS Superintendent Dr. Kevin Adams, SLPS Virtual School Coordinator, Carey Cunningham, SLPS Network Superintendent of Middle/High Schools, Dr. Ian Roberts, City of St. Louis Division of Corrections, 1st Financial Credit Union, State Representative Bruce Franks Jr., and Missouri Senator Jamilah Nasheed.

Innovative Partnership with SLU Expands Opportunities for Employment Diversity in IT Industry


Graduates of the SLATE TechHire program celebrate with Helen Greaves, Corporate Relations Manager, Center for Workforce & Organizational Development School for Professional Studies at SLU (center left), on December 22, 2017.

St. Louis University’s Workforce Center partnered with the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) as part of the Compete Midwest TechHire Partnership to provide 10-day bootcamps for IT certification from December 11th through December 22nd, 2017. The four certification classes encompassed studies in CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA A+, and Microsoft Office Specialist|Excel. Program graduates received a Certificate of Completion for their course of choice, and will complete a final exam to attain their Certifications. This partnership produced 42 trained IT candidates who are prepared to seek employment in the near future with continuous support and assistance from the SLATE Job Development team.

The SLU-SLATE partnership was developed as a part of President Obama’s TechHire commitment to foster diversity within the IT industry by providing opportunities to those “who are most in need – specifically youth and young adults”. SLATE’s TechHire team provides access to new, innovative training opportunities for eligible St. Louisans, increasing the availability of quality candidates to fill current IT vacancies for area employers.